It's the last game of the season tonight in Boston, where the Celtics have long since sacrificed winning in hopes of landing Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. Hopefully we'll see more of Amir Johnson than what we did last night. He made the most of his time, though, scoring eight points with six boards and a steal.
Johnson's doing a great job attacking the basket, and as a result, getting to the free throw line: he shot 2-3 from the field and 4-6 from the line last night. Between him and Jason Maxiell, whose knack for drawing fouls resulted in six free throws (but only two makes) himself, we'll be seeing a much more aggressive frontcourt over the next few years than we're used to.
In his blog, A. Sherrod Blakely reports that Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton and Chris Webber are all out tonight, and Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace likely won't see much time at all. That opens the door for Flip Murray, Carlos Delfino and Dale Davis to start. Blakely said Ronald Dupree is expected to get a ton of time, as well.
Last night, Blakely caught up with Antonio McDyess to talk about Johnson:
Players have been saying all week how impressed they have been with Johnson’s willingness to listen to their advice on how to become a better player.
"That’s a good thing about him," said Detroit’s Antonio McDyess. "He’s not hard-headed like some guys. Not on this team, but on any team."
Said Johnson: "I just go out there and try to play as hard as I can. That’s what the old guys (veterans) tell me."
And because of that, the 6-foot-9 forward is making the kind of impression that he hopes will carry over into training camp next season, and eventually lead to a regular spot in the Pistons’ rotation.
"He’s got all the talent in the world," McDyess added. "He’s one of the most athletic guys I ever played with. A couple more years, he’s going to be tough, playing a lot of minutes and helping this ball club."
The ball is about to tip -- it's on TV 20 while FSN replays the disaster of a Tigers game from earlier today (if you didn't already know the score, I'm sorry, though I just saved you a couple of hours). As usual, leave your thoughts in the comments.